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Training initiative launched to engage young engineers

06 December 2017

ABM UK has announced the launch of its Junior Engineering Engagement Programme (JEEP), to be held at its training centre in Greenford, Middlesex.

Aimed at addressing the much-publicised skills gap, the initiative intends to engage with 36 year seven students from three West London secondary schools with the intention of inspiring engineering talent.

This further endorses the company's commitment to training, which saw it win the Achievement in Apprenticeships & Skills trophy at this year's PFM Awards, presented last month.

The initiative combines the government's Year of Engineering next year, which also aims to encourage the recruitment of the next generation of engineers.

During the official launch of the initiative, attended by the 36 students and their parents, Tomorrow's World presenter Kate Bellingham discussed the unique opportunities provided by the JEEP programme.

Also present was ABM UK group managing director Andy Donnell, the creator of the scheme, who started his career as an electrical apprentice at the age of 16.

"This industry has an image problem that we need to change," he said.

"People either don't know about the opportunities that facilities management and engineering offer or they think it's about oily rags and no prospects.

"This couldn't be much further from the truth; in fact, these technical roles are in such high demand that graduate apprentices are earning between £26,000 and £30,000 just a year after qualifying and they have no debt," said Mr Donnell.

He further stated industry has a responsibility to attract young talent and described JEEP as "a fantastic first step towards doing that.

"But it can't be a flash in the pan: making the industry appeal to the next generation of talent is a monumental challenge and changes won't happen overnight, which is why we see this as a long-term, industry-wide campaign," said Mr Donnell.

JEEP will run from January to July 2018 and include students from Northolt High School, Brentside High School and Featherstone High School.

At the close of the programme, the students will receive a certified qualification from BIFM that will serve as a credit towards an apprenticeship or further courses.

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